Dallas - Season 2, Episode 18
Recap: Jock grumbles to Miss Ellie about all the chaos and drama stemming from Bobby's stupid decision to marry a Barnes - along with the writer's insistence on constantly stoking the tedious Ewing-Barnes feud. Miss Ellie tut tuts him and says that none of it can be helped 'cause of how in looooove Bobby is with his wife.
Miss Ellie brings Bobby a mug of coffee after he boycotted the family breakfast, and Bobby snarks about how much he'd love to "resign from the Ewings". He rails about how the Ewings will stop at nothing for money, case in point: Jock hurt Digger and conned him out of what was rightfully his. Miss Ellie argues that since Digger has always been a hopeless drunk, conning him is like taking candy from a baby...so therefore not unethical or dickish. Bobby adds that JR is responsible for Cliff's arrest during the previous episode and that he's pretty sure his nefarious brother is generally up to no good. He wearily says, "It's a puzzle, mama" and Miss Ellie scrunches her face concernedly and says she doesn't like what he's saying, however on the nose he may be.
Bobby calls Pam at the hotel she's staying at to pass along a message from Liz Craig (her employer), which is that she's being put on mandatory leave until Cliff's trial has concluded...and I'm guessing will be put on permanent leave if he's found guilty. That seems rather cunty and unfair of her. Pam laments the sudden loss of her job, then tells Bobby she has plans to visit Cliff this morning...and Bobby promises to swing by the jail to meet up with her afterwards.
JR admonishes Sue Ellen for laying around in bed all morning and telling Miss Ellie she was too sick to join the rest of the family for breakfast. Sue Ellen shrugs indifferently and accuses him of setting up the man who cuckolded him by bedding not only his wife, but his mistress...and when JR doesn't retort, she taunts him by asking, "Jealous..?" JR stares back at her with a look of forced amusement and dismissively reminds her that she's just another Ewing possession, like an oil lease, and therefore is easily disposable. Yeesh. That is one soul-sucking marriage either of them should consider putting an immediate end to.
Bobby snarks at JR for alienating Pam so badly that she felt it necessary to flee Southfork, but JR just shrugs and says that her leaving their home doesn't qualify as "much of a loss". Bobby comes right out and asks him if he set up Cliff, and JR tries to look as innocent as possible while he says he doesn't have that kind of clout with the police - but even if he did, he strongly believes that Cliff murdered Tina Louise.
JR meets with his yokel thugs, Jeb and Willie Joe, to discuss the confidential "red file" that Tina Louise had in her possession. JR brushes it off as nothing and insists that Tina Louise was murdered by Cliff in a crime of passion, however implausible that may be...not least because her hapless killers are currently standing right in front of him.
Bobby meets up with Pam after her jail visit with Cliff. She once again refuses to return to Southfork and live under the same roof as the man who's responsible for Cliff's arrest...and Bobby chides her for inventing excuses to not belong, and that everyone other than JR (and probably Jock) likes having her around. Pam admits that she misses him, but insists that co-habitating at his parents' oppressive ranch is untenable. I wonder why Bobby is so resistant to the sensible idea of buying a cozy home for himself and Pam, and just visiting Southfork on weekends or major holidays.
Bobby stops by the jail's visiting area just after Cliff finishes conferring with his lawyer and asks if there's anything he can do...and Cliff bitterly retorts, "You Ewings have done enough!" Bobby offers him cash to cover his legal bills, but Cliff refuses to take money from a Ewing and instead urges him to look into Tina Louise's murder and find the real killer.
Court is in session for an examining trial, a proceeding that will determine whether or not there's enough evidence against Cliff to present to a grand jury. A doctor takes the stand and testifies that Tina Louise died of massive internal injuries...and that she had bruises on her arms, presumably from someone grabbing her before she was tossed off the roof. In the next scene, a police officer takes the stand and testifies that he uncovered fabric on the building's roof that matches what Tina Louise was wearing on the night she was killed, along with one of her shoes. He also found Cliff's fingerprints on stuff inside her apartment - but admits that they weren't on the stairwell leading up to the roof. After that, a resident of the apartment building testifies that she witnessed Cliff enter Tina Louise's apartment on the night of her death...and the spectators in the courtroom oooh and awww at the implication. LOL. So far this all seems like pretty weak circumstantial evidence against Cliff.
JR takes the stand and testifies that Tina Louise was his secretary, and that she resigned from Ewing Oil after enduring heartbreak when her blechy affair with Cliff came to a bitter end. He says he now knows that she had stolen confidential papers from Ewing Oil with the intention of giving them to Cliff, then contorts his face into a faux sad expression and says he felt betrayed by her treachery.
During a recess, Cliff is in a closed door meeting with his lawyer, and Pam and Bobby. Cliff tells Bobby he can make himself useful by fetching him a clean shirt and picking up his mail.
After the commercial break, Bobby returns with a brand new shirt and a stack of mail. Cliff sifts through his mail and is startled when he finds a letter that Tina Louise had sent to him prior to her untimely death. Inside the envelop is a key and a ticket to a nearby pawn shop...and when he shows it to Pam and Bobby, Bobby offers to look into it while court is back into session. Cliff mulls that over and hands him the key and pawn shop ticket.
Bobby rushes out to his Mercedes and races over to the pawn shop to retrieve the item that matches the ticket...and it's a briefcase that contains Jock's will, along with legal papers that strongly implicate Jeb and Willie Joe in various illegal pay-offs with congressmen, senators, and judges. Bobby stares woodenly at the briefcase while he contemplates his next move.
Pam, meanwhile, testifies that she knew her brother and Tina Louise had hooked up...and that she argued with him about his poor choice of fuck buddy at a restaurant recently - but that the argument wasn't actually about Tina Louise. The defense attorney gets the judge to agree that the prosecutor should drop this line of questioning before Pam can divulge that she had argued with Cliff 'cause he was hitting the sheets with Sue Ellen...which is really too bad 'cause it would have made for a spicy moment in court with Sue Ellen and JR sitting in the spectators' section. Pam continues to testify about how she had learned that Tina Louise stole the Ewing Oil papers...but then is forced to admit that Cliff didn't come to her defense when she had been accused by the Ewings of the theft. I'm not sure exactly how any of this relates to Cliff allegedly killing Tina Louise, but this is about where where I started to mentally tune out.
Bobby storms over to Ewing Oil, brusquely dismisses the two secretaries, and bursts into JR's office just as JR is laughing to someone over the phone about how awesome it is that Cliff is finally out of their hair. Awkward. Bobby snatches the phone out of his hand and slams the pawn shop briefcase on his desk. He shows JR the pay-off files that Tina Louise had compiled, and JR peruses the documents and mutters, "Why, that cheap little tramp." Bobby then pulls out the copy of Jock's will and points out the fake codicil that gives JR full rights to drill oil on Southfork's Section 40 [that JR secretly got a crew to test during the Home Again episode], then snaps, "It's a forgery!" and admonishes JR for attempting to con his own parents. JR argues that he was merely trying to make Ewing Oil a more powerful company...and Bobby glares at him in disgust and says he's off to confront Dan Marsh, who he now knows tapped Cliff's phone and then brought him (JR) the recording. JR nervously implores his brother to please not tattle on him to their daddy.
Bobby gives Dan Marsh the what-for as he demands answers about his illegal wire tapping of Cliff...and Dan admits that Jeb and Willie Joe had slipped him some cash to put surveillance on Tina Louise. Bobby accuses him of setting up Cliff, calls him garbage, and storms out of his office. He then storms over to Jeb's/Willie Joe's office, and is informed by their flirty secretary Alice that the two yokels just left for the airport to fly to Alaska on business. Bobby picks up the nearest phone and calls the head of security at the airport and orders him to prevent Jeb and Willie Joe from boarding their flight until he has a chance to talk to them...and naturally the head of security's like, "Anything for you, Bobby Ewing" and agrees to detain the yokels. After that, Bobby gives Alice a small bribe, presumably to keep quiet about the phone call she just overheard, then suggests she use the cash to buy herself some perfume. Alice grins flirtily at Bobby and nods happily at the prospect of treating herself to a fresh new scent. LOL.
Cliff is bummed when his lawyer tells him that the judge just ruled that Julie's phone message can be used as evidence...despite it being obtained illegally. Cliff moans, "It's hopeless.." and worries that his career is over, even if he ends up being acquitted.
Jeb and Willie Joe are being held in the security office at the airport when Bobby arrives. He snappishly tells the two yokels he has the red file that Tina Louise was going to hand over to Cliff, and informs them that they - but somehow not JR - are implicated for offering various pay-offs to congressmen and senators. The yokels stare back at him, shell-shocked, and blurt out that they didn't actually intend to kill Tina Louise, and that she slipped and accidentally fell off the roof of her apartment building while they were threatening her. One of them cries, "We'll go to jail!" and Bobby says that if they refuse to go to the authorities on their own, he'll make the red file public, which is probably enough evidence for the police to charge them with Murder One.
The flimsy case against Cliff is dismissed! Cliff gushes to Pam and Bobby how surprised he is that this tedious storyline was able to resolve itself so quickly...and Bobby agrees that justice was served, but keeps mum about the contents in the pawn shop briefcase. A delighted Pam asks Bobby to pick her up at her hotel later, and he flashes her a grin and agrees to swing by.
Bobby returns to Ewing Oil and forces JR to burn Jock's forged will. JR whines that by making him do this he's crippling Ewing Oil, but Bobby points out that the company is worth millions and therefore doing A-OK. He then glares at JR in disgust and snarks, "I now know what you're all about!" and huffily exits the office.
That evening, Pam and Bobby stroll around downtown. She says she suspects that he did something that resulted in Cliff being freed - but Bobby urges her to drop it and just enjoy her brother's freedom. Pam breaks the news that despite her love for him, she still can't bring herself to return to Southfork after what JR did to Cliff...and Bobby's all, "But I love you and want you back!" and reminds her that she knew he was a loyal Ewing stooge when she married him. He contorts his face in irritation as he ambles off alone...and a tearful Pam stares despondently after him.
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Recapper: Isabel K. French
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